Cusco Tourist Attractions and Sightseeing

(Cusco / Cuzco, Peru)

Pcture of sightseers in the Plaza de ArmasThe city of Cusco is large and the choice of tourist attractions is enormous, so it really is essential that you take your time to properly sightsee, and don't try to rush your holiday. With attractions such as the ancient Inca site of Machu Picchu and the very beautiful Sacred Valley on the very doorstep of Cusco, there certainly is plenty to see.

If you don't have much time to spare for sightseeing and are only able to visit one tourist attraction in Cusco, then be sure to come to the Inca ruins of Qorikancha. Other recommendations for tourists include the Q'enqo ruins, the various central plazas, a choice of outdoor activities, and the extremely vibrant Barrio de San Blas, which is steeped in Inca history.

Photo showing the start of the famous Inca Trail


Although a large number of the tourists visiting Cusco come to explore the spectacular Inca ruins and learn more about the ancient civilisations once living here, others come to the city to enjoy its extensive selection of other outdoor attractions and recreational activities.

With some of the best activities and exciting adventures on offer in Peru, tourists will be able to try their hand at:

Open hours: daily - seasonal variations
Admission: free, charge for guides and equipment hire

Barrio de San Blas

Address: Barrio de San Blas, Cusco, Peru, PE
The neighbourhood of San Blas is better known in Cusco as the Barrio de San Blas and is the most historic part of the city, residing just a few blocks to the north of the Plaza de Armas. Many of the cobblestone streets follow the same lines as those first laid out by the Incas, and the oldest houses have been built directly upon ancient Inca foundations. As you climb the steep streets, take time out to stop and enjoy the panoramic views, or the multitude of interesting shops. This colourful area also goes by the name of the Barrio de los Artesanos (Artisan Quarter), due to its wealth of artisan studios, galleries and workshops.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free

Image showing the Qorikancha remains


Address: Plaza Santo Domingo, Cusco, Peru, PE
The remains of Qorikancha were actually once the most important temple in the whole Inca empire, with magnificent temple walls lined with solid gold. Many ritual ceremonies were once held here by the Incas, while high priests used Qorikancha as something of an observatory. Today, these 15th-century ruins form the base of the Convent of Santo Domingo and its church, and offer only a very small suggestion of its former grandeur.
Open hours: Monday to Saturday - 08:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 14:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discounts for students and children

Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo (Centre of Native Art)

Address: Avenida El Sol 604, Cusco, Peru, PE
Tel: +51 084 22 7901
The Centro Qosqo de Arte Nativo is worth searching out and was established as far back as the 1920s, making it amongst the oldest of all the city's folkloric attractions. This intimate theatre can accommodate audiences of around 300 people within its auditorium and features regular Peruvian dance performances, which last around an hour and are first introduced in both English and Spanish. An onsite museum is filled with traditional costumes from the city's provinces.
Open hours: daily - 18:30 to 21:00
Admission: charge

Photo of the Q'enqo ruins (Quenko)

Q'enqo / Quenko

Literally translating as 'zigzag', Q'enqo is the name given to these rather fascinating ruins, located just 4 km / 2.5 miles to the north-east of Cusco. It is widely believed that the archaeological site of Q'enqo was used for religious ceremonies, since the limestone monolith is carved with symbolic zigzags, possibly used for ritual sacrifices when they would be served as channels for the blood. At the top of the Q'enqo are etched images of various animals, including a llama and puma, while down below, a large semi-circular amphitheatre remains in good order, along with carved stairs and tunnels.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free

Plaza view

Plazas / Public Squares

Tel: +51 084 22 1361
There are no less than three main public squares / parks in central Cusco, each of which is surrounded by its own set of attractions and colonial buildings.

Open hours: daily - 24 hours
Admission: free